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LusiferSam
11-29-2008, 11:59 PM
But not until January. After a few of weeks of thinking it over, I decided now was about the right time. My current machine, a G5, is not quite 4 years old and there's nothing wrong with it (unlike the last two times I had to upgrade). But there's some software I'd like to be able to run that I can't right now. The main piece is some diction software. So I think its time to move on.

So why January? Well it's been about a year since Apple had updated their Mac Pro line., Intel has some new chips on their way, and MacWorld is happening in about a month. As I don't need the new computer now I can wait for the new systems. I can also read some reviews and get a feel for what I'm getting.

I pretty much know what I want in the system, RAM, hard drives, video card, etc. and can guess the price. Which by the way I'm not totally happy about. It's close to twice what I paid for the G5. Most of the price increase is from the extra RAM and higher end processor (go figure).

sith_killer_99
11-30-2008, 12:20 AM
I have been looking at apple for some time now, I would love to get one to play around with, buy that's a lot of dough to drop on a toy.

Anyway, my recommendation would be to wait until they make the new optical drives available on their machines.

Are you getting a Mac Pro? If so how hard is it to change out optical drives?

I say all of this because Blu-ray drives are becoming more and more common and apple will probably start offering them on their machines by the end of 2009.

I suppose you could always buy an external later on.

Congrats on the new machine!:thumbsup:

JediTricks
11-30-2008, 02:26 AM
I'm apparently getting a new PC from my mother and step-dad for xmas. It's gonna be a 3ghz Intel Quad-core with 2 gig or more of RAM, and windows XP (they are building it themselves, thankfully). It's gonna be affordable, but powerful. Not 64-bit though, which is ok, I can't afford 64-bit software right now anyway, and XP 64 is not as common an OS (no way in hell I'm getting another Vista machine).

LusiferSam
11-30-2008, 01:11 PM
I have been looking at apple for some time now, I would love to get one to play around with, buy that's a lot of dough to drop on a toy.
A similarly configured Dell or HP cost about the same. I've never understood why people complain about the price when all they do is look at the crappy low end Dells. I think the fact that most Macs are at the higher end maybe skews peoples views. If you could find a cheap ;) used G4, G5 or Pro it might give you a better feel for the Macs.


Anyway, my recommendation would be to wait until they make the new optical drives available on their machines.

Are you getting a Mac Pro? If so how hard is it to change out optical drives?

I say all of this because Blu-ray drives are becoming more and more common and apple will probably start offering them on their machines by the end of 2009.

I suppose you could always buy an external later on.

Yes, I'll be getting a Mac Pro. Starting with the B/W G3s Apple has make pretty easy to expand. I think the G5 has a slightly easier optical drive to remove, but not by much. I don't think Apple has add Blu-Ray support to OS X yet. So you can play standard DVDs and CDs but not Blu-Ray disks.

But there is always something new that's just a few months away. If it's not new processors it's new optical drives, or a new type of RAM or a new type of hard drive. I'll wait for the next refreshed line of Mac Pros, which should be January.

Mad Slanted Powers
11-30-2008, 02:11 PM
I'm on my 4th computer. For Christmas of 1984, I got an original Mac, and later upgraded it to the 512K enhanced. By the time I got to college there wasn't much new that would run on it anymore, but I used it until 1995 when the screen finally went out.

At that point I got a Power Mac 6100 series with 350MB Hard Drive and 8MB of RAM. After a couple of years the drive was pretty full and some of the games I had wouldn't run well on it.

Just after Christmas of 1999, I got the graphite iMac DV SE. It had a 13GB hard drive and 128MB of RAM. I think I upgraded the RAM, which helped extend it's life for me. I know that by 2002 it was beginning to be not quite powerful enough. That is when I upgraded to OS X. That might be when I added the RAM. Getting my own house in a place where I could get cable internet helped things go a little faster online. However, it got to the point where all the cool programs that came on the disc with my MacAddict magazine wouldn't run on my computer. They needed 10.2 or higher and I was stuck with 10.1.5 or something. It also meant I couldn't upgrade iTunes to access the iTunes store.

I finally got a new iMac at the end of August 2006. It has a 150GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM. I'm hoping it will last me at least as long as my last computer. I still have plenty of hard disk space. I don't buy computer games anymore that would require a hardware upgrade, so as long as the basic programs continue to work and I'm able to access internet content I want, then I am content with what I have.

sith_killer_99
11-30-2008, 05:38 PM
A similarly configured Dell or HP cost about the same. I've never understood why people complain about the price when all they do is look at the crappy low end Dells. I think the fact that most Macs are at the higher end maybe skews peoples views. If you could find a cheap used G4, G5 or Pro it might give you a better feel for the Macs.

I hear ya, I have been looking at apples for some time. When I say it's a lot on money to drop on a "toy" what I mean it that we have 4 PC's already...there are only 3 of us in the family! LOL

My wife and I each have 17 inch HP laptops, my daughter has a 15 inch HP laptop and then we have the old Sony Vaio. No need for another computer right now, as much as I would love to try out the new OS X, it really would be little more than a new toy for me to play with.

Maybe in a few years, when I am looking at buying another computer, I will buy an apple.

JediTricks
11-30-2008, 06:12 PM
If you're not buying a mega-super-awesome top of the line HP or Dell but instead sticking middle of the road quality, it's going to be cheaper than a similar Mac. If you're buying a budget laptop, Mac doesn't even come close, nearly double. If you're building your own system out of components which is an extremely frugal way to go, Mac doesn't offer that. Most importantly perhaps, if you're looking to buy software or peripherals, Mac does not compete, at all, period - you will be paying through the nose. For serious web development, Mac doesn't offer much, and even in FTP software it's expensive and limited in ability.

Mad Slanted Powers
11-30-2008, 06:51 PM
According to Apple (http://developer.apple.com/internet/), "Mac OS X is an outstanding web development platform". I wonder if they made their own website with a Mac or a PC.

The Mac certainly doesn't have the number of programs available that a PC does, but it usually has something for just about anything you need to do. The Mac can run Windows now, so if you really need one of those programs, you can make it work.

As for peripherals, the problem usually isn't that they won't work with the Mac, but that the software that comes with it doesn't work right or is PC only.

I use a PC at work, and one thing I do like about it is how much easier it is to not use a mouse. I can use all of the keyboard shortcuts to access menus and select cells in Excel.

As for FTP, I used a program called Fetch to upload mp3's to my internet station when the Live365 loader program for the Mac wasn't working. It worked well enough for my purposes. I think there are much better programs available though.

It's kind of funny. The stereotypes for Macs and PC's are kind of like the Apple commercials. Macs are for artsy liberal types and PC's are for the conservative business types. Yet here we seem to have a lot of PC users, and based on discussions in the Rancor Pit, most of them aren't very conservative. Meanwhile, I've always used a Mac, and Rush Limbaugh also favors the Mac. Of course, people here are more tech savvy, and PC's are usually the domain of geeks.

bigbarada
11-30-2008, 07:38 PM
I've done all of my web design work on a Macintosh, the only thing I use my PC for is to check emails and do basic website maintenance when I'm traveling.

I use Transmit for FTP purposes on my Mac. It seems pretty basic but it does everything I need it to do and has run essentially glitch free for over 2 years now (any problems I've had seem to be server based). Plus it only cost me $30.

I run Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Final Cut Pro and Maya 6.0 on my Mac computers. And they run fine with no major problems. Photoshop and Illustrator are a little glitchy but that's because they're not the versions set up for the Intel-processors. However, considering they are not supposed to be compatible with my computer, they've run great for going on three years now.

As for printers and cameras, I've actually never had to upload drivers for any of the printers, cameras and scanners that I've bought. They just work with my machine straight out of the box.

So I don't really understand this notion that Macintosh's aren't compatible with anything. But I don't play games on my computers.

If they were as bad as PC owners make them out to be, then why have they been such an industry standard for graphic design purposes?

sith_killer_99
11-30-2008, 07:55 PM
If they were as bad as PC owners make them out to be, then why have they been such an industry standard for graphic design purposes?

Years ago Mac used RISC-architecture which at the time was very promising and had several advantages over Pentium based processors. One of the strongest areas was in graphics processing capabilities. That was how Apple got their foot in the door so to speak. Then Apple converted to the Intel processor, but graphics design guru's had already become used to working with the MAC OS, so they continue to dominate in the field.

Or so I've been told.

BTW, as a PC owner I have nothing against MAC's. But let's be real, the only real difference between PC's and MAC's nowadays is the OS, all the hardware is basically the same. Hence it has come down to which OS you prefer.

Personally, I would love to work with the OS, if Apple ever decided they wanted to make real money and released their OS to compete with Windows in the PC market. That will never happen. Instead they use their OS to sell their hardware at inflated prices.:cry:

bigbarada
11-30-2008, 08:20 PM
I don't really see the prices of the desktops being that inflated and even then it can be chalked up to the quality of the machines.

I paid $1700 for my iMac and it's been going strong for over two years now and I've been running high end programs like Photoshop and Illustrator on it every single day of those two years. It froze up on me once and that was only because I had filled up the hard drive with photos from my digital camera (I can take an average of about 250-700 photos a day while following Matt around during his training - at 3-4 Megabytes per photo, that will fill up a hard drive really quickly).

What I tell people when they are asking about buying new computers is that when you buy a bargain basement computer made from cheap parts, then it should really be no surprise when those parts crap out every year or so.

When buying a car, you would expect to get a much higher level of quality from a $30,000 car compared to a $10,000 car. The same really applies to computers. It's just that old adage, you get what you pay for.

I've been working with Macs for about 6 years now, which includes spending three years in a computer lab with about 20-30 Macintoshes running every day (again running programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Quark, Final Cut Pro, Maya, Cinema 4D and ZBrush). In all that time, I can still count on one hand the number of times I watched a Macintosh die. In those few instances, only one of those computers needed to be returned to Apple for major repairs.

Of course, it probably would have been less expensive to outfit our lab with PCs but we would likely have multiplied our problems by being forced to deal with Windows and cheap hardware.

JediTricks
11-30-2008, 08:36 PM
I've been running this machine, which cost $400, for like 5 years now without trouble. Photoshop every day (Dreamweaver is the devil, you would literally have to pay me to use it, and pay me more to fix the pages made from it - and people do!). My computer cost 1/4 of yours and is still jamming along. Steve returned his macbook in like 2 days because of the limited availability of developer tools such as the lack of advanced FTP. In the PC world, not everything has to be name-brand to be quality, there are dozens of FTP programs that can do stuff like batch renames and server-to-server transfers and more. Mac? None. When was the last time you could buy 2 gig of ram, a 500gig harddrive, a multi-card reader, all for $150, and slap it into your Mac on your own?

Apple is like a cult, the ipod doesn't even get good reviews, it's usually a 7 because its sound quality and because of its dependence on DRM and the itunes store. The Mac is heavily overpriced, and software is expensive and limited in choices. I understand some people prefer the Mac polish, but that doesn't make it a better choice, just a different one, a more expensive one.

sith_killer_99
11-30-2008, 08:46 PM
I paid $1700 for my iMac and it's been going strong for over two years now and I've been running high end programs like Photoshop and Illustrator on it every single day of those two years. It froze up on me once and that was only because I had filled up the hard drive with photos from my digital camera (I can take an average of about 250-700 photos a day while following Matt around during his training - at 3-4 Megabytes per photo, that will fill up a hard drive really quickly).

Two systems one HP, the other a MAC Pro. Similar configurations HP price $1,449.99 Apple price $3,349.00. That's almost a $2,000.00 difference. Okay so let's compare the iMac price - $2,048.00. Much closer, but still a $500.00 difference.

But as I mentioned before the hardware is a non-issue. Apple uses many of the same parts/mfg. to build their systems as all the others, hard drives, processors, graphics cards, optical drives, etc. So I see no real world advantage in terms of hardware...there's just no difference.

So why should there be any real difference in price?

Because Apple has a monopoly on their software, if you want to run their OS you have to buy their machine. This is why Apple will not release their OS to the PC market. They know that if they did so, sales on their equipment would bottom out. Equipment that is essentially no different than PC's!

JediTricks
11-30-2008, 08:51 PM
My HP laptop cost $450 in '07. The lowest-end Macbook at the time cost $1100. There's just no comparison there. I actually thought about buying a Mac Mini for a while right after they came out, but ultimately it was still fairly expensive and didn't do anything I needed more than the computer I already owned.

LusiferSam
11-30-2008, 09:13 PM
If they were as bad as PC owners make them out to be, then why have they been such an industry standard for graphic design purposes?

I don't get either. I view software or peripherals a little like TV channels. More chooses just means you're got more junk to wade through before you find the good stuff. Besides if it's any good (not super specialized) it's made for both platforms.

I didn't think about listing the software I run. The main reason I want a big number crunching machine, is for crunching numbers. So for school/work I use a set NASA and ESA software suites. They are: SAS (XMM data), CIAO (Chandra data), Xanadu, Ftools (both general purpose) and Xstar (photoionization code). I also run a little Mathematica and a lot of my own code for theoretical work. I do play games. But not too much right now (I don't have the time). Than there's the normal stuff, like browsers (Firefox), word processors (Pages), music players (iTunes), etc.

I'm hoping to be able to run some new dictation software. About nine years ago I was running IBM's ViaVoice. In OS 8 and 9 it ran fine and worked like a charm. But the OS X port has sucked. I hate it. Either it won't run, crashes, or stops working. And it does work it wasn't anything like the older versions. MacSpeech's Dictate is suppose to run pretty well, but it is Intel only. I'd also like to run either VMware or Parallels. Although rare these days, I sometimes find myself needing to use my Dad's PC for some things. And finally there's some newer games that are Intel Mac only. The farther we get away from the G5 the more common this will be.

LusiferSam
11-30-2008, 09:32 PM
Sorry for the double post.

Two systems one HP, the other a MAC Pro. Similar configurations HP price $1,449.99 Apple price $3,349.00. That's almost a $2,000.00 difference. Okay so let's compare the iMac price - $2,048.00. Much closer, but still a $500.00 difference.

I don't think so. What kind of processor did the HP have. I'm will to bet the $2,000 difference it wasn't the same as what's in the Mac Pros. Dell and HP's home desktops don't have the Xeon and aren't duel chips. All the Mac Pros are duel chip (no, I'm not talking about cores) Xeons. The only place I found those are are in HP's and Dell's workstations. Intel's Xeon processor cost a lot more than the Core or Core 2 processors. Make sure you know what you're comparing.



Apple is like a cult.
And you're point is? I'll drink the Kool-aid when Jobs passes it around.

Mad Slanted Powers
11-30-2008, 09:56 PM
There is even a cultofmac.com website. I miss the old MacAddict magazine. It isn't quite the same since they became MacLife. I still prefer it to MacWorld though.

bigbarada
11-30-2008, 11:39 PM
Well, I can honestly say that I'm not a Mac cultist. I'm just used to their machines and I have over $10,000 worth of software that will never run on any PC. So, if I tried to go PC right now, I would be forced to buy all of my software again.

Some people are also forgetting one of the biggest benefits of owning a Mac, their immunity to viruses. I've been running my machine with zero internet security or firewalls for over two years and have never had any problems at all with viruses.

Anyways, I'm not a computer programmer so I know nothing of the finer details of machine languages or software. I'm just a graphic designer, to me a computer is just a tool in the same way that a pencil or a paintbrush is a tool. As long as the machine allows me to do what I want and I'm comfortable with the interface, then I'm happy with it. The muscle-memory of my fingers is already set up for Macintosh keyboard shortcuts, so it would be like relearning how to draw if I was to switch to PC.

sith_killer_99
11-30-2008, 11:56 PM
I don't think so. What kind of processor did the HP have. I'm will to bet the $2,000 difference it wasn't the same as what's in the Mac Pros. Dell and HP's home desktops don't have the Xeon and aren't duel chips. All the Mac Pros are duel chip (no, I'm not talking about cores) Xeons. The only place I found those are are in HP's and Dell's workstations. Intel's Xeon processor cost a lot more than the Core or Core 2 processors. Make sure you know what you're comparing.

I was comparing a single 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, vs. the Intel Core 2 Quad processor Q9550 (2.83GHz).

Apple does indeed offer a single chip option on their MAC Pro. So you end up paying an extra $2,000 for the luxury of having a similar 2.8GHz quad core system with the Xeon label.

By apple's logic, who cares if your not running a server, if you want a tower system that you can easily upgrade, you have to spend the extra money, weather you want to or not.

BTW, the 2.8GHz "harpertown" Xeon processor (the exact same chip Apple is using) can be had for 1/3 the cost difference...$700.00 right here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117143

On top of that just try "upgrading" from the apple website. They want $300 just to "upgrade" from their standard 320GB hard drive to a 1TB drive and a whopping $450 for each additional 1TB drive. The most expensive 1TB drive I found on newegg was $229.99 here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145143R

Most can be had for $100-$150. HP's cost to "upgrade" to a 1TB drive is $100.00!

I'll give it to Apple, they have a sweet OS, it's stable and it works well, it has a proven track record.

On the hardware front, apple is more expensive, it's impossible to justify the cost, Apple builds their machines with off the shelf parts that can be had for much less from any PC mfg. It's the same stuff, only more expensive, their machines aren't built with anything special, no super secret high level of quality control. They are the same parts.

Ten years ago it was different, Apple was using a different chip with different architecture and there was a notable difference between PC's and MAC's. That's just not the case any more.

BTW, I also forgot to mention that the HP I configured came with 2 optical drives (1 Blu-ray read/write plus 1 basic DVD-ROM) and twice the memory 4GB vs 2GB.;):thumbsup:

The Blu-ray drive was a $250.00 upgrade the 4GB of memory was standard.:D

sith_killer_99
12-01-2008, 12:38 AM
Some people are also forgetting one of the biggest benefits of owning a Mac, their immunity to viruses. I've been running my machine with zero internet security or firewalls for over two years and have never had any problems at all with viruses.

MAC's are not immune too viruses. That is a myth.

More viruses are written for windows based operating systems, which does not affect the MAC OS. The reason for this is because hackers want to hit the largest audience...PC's running Windows.

That's an easy enough fix, just run a free version of Ubuntu linux! You will have just as much "immunity" from viruses on your PC running linux as you would on a MAC, probably more. Oh and since Unbuntu linux can easily be run alongside windows you can keep your Windows OS safe and secure.

Important reading for MAC users:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12537279/
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Mac-and-Linux-Not-Immune-to-Viruses/
http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/may/02/no-headline---askalli02/
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,,24058403-8362,00.html


Research conducted in the first quarter of 2008 found that 95 per cent of all Mac malware threats identified were OS X related, of which 38 per cent were keyloggers, 30 per cent were hacking tools, 11 per cent were backdoors and 2 per cent were viruses.

bigbarada
12-01-2008, 12:53 AM
MAC's are not immune too viruses. That is a myth.

Well, it's a "myth" that's kept both of my Macs virus free for years now.:p

Even in our Mac lab at the college, the only time we had a problem with viruses was when the head of the Art department decided to install Norton Internet Security as a precaution. The viruses showed up in droves as soon as the anti-virus software was installed; but they just sat inert on the hard drives and didn't do anything but take up about 50 megs or so of hard drive space.

sith_killer_99
12-01-2008, 01:10 AM
Well, it's a "myth" that's kept both of my Macs virus free for years now.

That's cool. But what about the other threats, according to the 2008 Q1 research only 2% of MAC malware were "viruses" what about backdoors (11%), hacking tools (30%), and keyloggers (39%)?

All I'm saying is that it's important to scan your system regularly, no matter what platform you are running.:yes:

No doubt, Mac's are more secure, but that's no reason to ignore the possibility of malware infecting your system.

LusiferSam
12-01-2008, 01:59 AM
Oh this is really bugging. It's Mac, not MAC. Mac is short for Macintosh.

Ok now that's out of my system. I wouldn't run a computer without anti-virus software, Mac or PC. A lack of virus, spyware and other malware truly doesn't a given OS safer or secure. I don't believe Mac OS X is any better or worst the Windows, just a smaller target.

I'll have to tell me where you were on HP's web site SK99. I can't find it. What I came up with was HP xw 8600, which was the only one I could find the matched the current Mac Pros. When I cooked up I wanted on the Mac for the HP (two 3.2 GHz Xeons, 8 GB RAM, and two 500 GB HD) and using the same insane graphics card, the Nvidia Quadro FX 5600. The HP was about $1,000 more.

bigbarada
12-01-2008, 02:39 AM
That's cool. But what about the other threats, according to the 2008 Q1 research only 2% of MAC malware were "viruses" what about backdoors (11%), hacking tools (30%), and keyloggers (39%)?

All I'm saying is that it's important to scan your system regularly, no matter what platform you are running.:yes:

No doubt, Mac's are more secure, but that's no reason to ignore the possibility of malware infecting your system.

"Malware," "backdoors," "keyloggers?" :confused:

I have no idea what any of that stuff is. Like I said before, I'm a graphic designer, not an IT guy.

JediTricks
12-01-2008, 04:59 AM
Well, I can honestly say that I'm not a Mac cultist. I'm just used to their machines and I have over $10,000 worth of software that will never run on any PC. So, if I tried to go PC right now, I would be forced to buy all of my software again.My goodness, if I ever have $10k in software, someone dip me in gold. I can't imagine even needing that level of investment without producing some other sort of high-end machining works.


Some people are also forgetting one of the biggest benefits of owning a Mac, their immunity to viruses. I've been running my machine with zero internet security or firewalls for over two years and have never had any problems at all with viruses.They have no such immunity, they are susceptible to both, it's just that with a 8% market share, there aren't enough people using Mac for virus authors to bother writing viruses over, there wouldn't be enough of an effect that way no matter their goals - whether they be sending a message to "the man" or using those systems as a zombie army. It's like writing a virus for a Linux machine or a Palm smartphone, sure it can be done, but why invest that much time for so little results?

El Chuxter
12-01-2008, 05:52 PM
Simpsons addressed the cult of Mac last night in a surprisingly watchable (though not great by a long shot) episode.

LusiferSam
12-01-2008, 08:13 PM
I thought it was a great (and timely) episode. Great by the standards of the last couple of seasons. The MyBill killed me. That is the kind of package Apple would likely send your bill in if everything was electric these days.

bigbarada
12-02-2008, 09:44 PM
My goodness, if I ever have $10k in software, someone dip me in gold. I can't imagine even needing that level of investment without producing some other sort of high-end machining works.


To be honest, $7000 of that is for one program: Maya 6.0. If you are enrolled in college, you can get it for $400 or less, but on the commercial market it retails at $7000. Which is the price I would have to pay to replace it unless I wanted to enroll in college just to get the student discount.

In case you are wondering what it can do, Gollum from the LOTR films was created in Maya 4.0 (on a PC, since Maya wasn't Mac-compatible until version 5.0).

JediTricks
12-04-2008, 04:53 AM
Maya is a 3d modeling program, right? It sounds like it would be cheaper to enroll in community college to get that discount.

El Chuxter
12-04-2008, 09:03 AM
You could always ask a friend who's in college to buy it for you. It may not be entirely honest, but a 1700% markup isn't entirely honest, either.

pbarnard
12-04-2008, 10:00 AM
Maya is a 3d modeling program, right? It sounds like it would be cheaper to enroll in community college to get that discount.

Well a school with an agreement. Here, we have agreements with Microsoft (any operating systems $15, office for said system $10...add another 5 for the cd to put it on).

http://cs.its.uiowa.edu/software/softwarelistingstudents.shtml

I know it says we can buy Adobe stuff, but there 5-10% discount doesn't matter much. And it's only 1 copy per person for any title. But outside of Endnote, if there's anything on that list anyone wants, I'll be willing to arrange the transaction. SHHHHH, just don't tell the boogey man of cyber security.

bigbarada
12-04-2008, 12:59 PM
Maya is a 3d modeling program, right? It sounds like it would be cheaper to enroll in community college to get that discount.

Yeah, it's pretty high-end stuff. It also has a very deep interface. The guy who taught one of our first seminars on Maya had been working with the program for 15 years and had used it to create effects for films like The Day After Tomorrow, Castaway and The Fifth Element. Even he claimed to only know 10-20% of the whole program.

I'll try to upload a movie of one of my projects from that class. Even with a basic understanding of the software, you can do some pretty cool stuff. I am attaching a screengrab from one of my projects that gives you an idea of what possible with the program and the density of the interface.


You could always ask a friend who's in college to buy it for you. It may not be entirely honest, but a 1700% markup isn't entirely honest, either.

To be honest I believe they are losing money by offering it so cheap to students. They now have the student license as an expiring 14-month license, whereas the version I have is a permanent license. The student discount is now down to $200, but I guess $200 a year to "rent" a $7000 piece of professional grade software is not that bad of a deal.

If you go to http://www.journeyed.com/ they specialize in selling software at student discounts. You can see that it might be worth enrolling in a community college just to save the money on software. :)

pbarnard
12-04-2008, 02:17 PM
To be honest I believe they are losing money by offering it so cheap to students. They now have the student license as an expiring 14-month license, whereas the version I have is a permanent license. The student discount is now down to $200, but I guess $200 a year to "rent" a $7000 piece of professional grade software is not that bad of a deal.

If you go to http://www.journeyed.com/ they specialize in selling software at student discounts. You can see that it might be worth enrolling in a community college just to save the money on software. :)

Well you can always set your computer's clock/calendar back whenever you use the program if you buy an expiring license. That'll save you in the long run. :thumbsup:

JediTricks
12-05-2008, 02:44 AM
Well a school with an agreement. Here, we have agreements with Microsoft (any operating systems $15, office for said system $10...add another 5 for the cd to put it on).

http://cs.its.uiowa.edu/software/softwarelistingstudents.shtml

I know it says we can buy Adobe stuff, but there 5-10% discount doesn't matter much. And it's only 1 copy per person for any title. But outside of Endnote, if there's anything on that list anyone wants, I'll be willing to arrange the transaction. SHHHHH, just don't tell the boogey man of cyber security.At $700 a pop for Adobe stuff, even 10% is a big deal, but I know what you mean. Their student discount used to be like 40%, I guess they're getting full of themselves. It's all about the output of the program too, not about development costs, which I find a little sleazy - "well, we know some of you are going to get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars using our program, so we want a cut of that."



To be honest I believe they are losing money by offering it so cheap to students. They now have the student license as an expiring 14-month license, whereas the version I have is a permanent license. The student discount is now down to $200, but I guess $200 a year to "rent" a $7000 piece of professional grade software is not that bad of a deal.Here's the thing, if they don't make the software readily available to students, they won't have professionals in the future capable of using their programs and thus they won't be able to charge $7k a license anymore. I can't believe they're actually losing money by doing this, software costs are in development, either they're losing money across the board or they're not, but student licenses won't change that.



Well you can always set your computer's clock/calendar back whenever you use the program if you buy an expiring license. That'll save you in the long run. :thumbsup:Programs this advanced don't fall for those types of tricks, they use bios times and registry issues and such to ensure they don't get cheated.

pbarnard
12-05-2008, 09:57 AM
Programs this advanced don't fall for those types of tricks, they use bios times and registry issues and such to ensure they don't get cheated.

Not true. I used a borrowed copy of SAS for a semester on an expired license. Not exactly a cheap or simple program. Also, most of the developers teach classes in how to use it (my wife's gone to several). But you can still set back a BIOS clock during boot up.

Registry issues and files are whole other thing. Right now, I'm holding on the phone to talk with some people at Beckman Coulter about their proprietary cards, software etc and why it's screwing up their MDQ-Capillary Electrophoresis machine bought from there.

bigbarada
12-05-2008, 10:42 AM
Here's the thing, if they don't make the software readily available to students, they won't have professionals in the future capable of using their programs and thus they won't be able to charge $7k a license anymore. I can't believe they're actually losing money by doing this, software costs are in development, either they're losing money across the board or they're not, but student licenses won't change that.

That's true. It's a great, low-cost "training program" for their software. This way they don't have to build schools or hire teachers. Just lower the price of their software enough to entice students to start using it as early as possible. Some of the high schools around the area were starting to set up Maya classes when I left.

They probably make most of their money off of companies like ILM, WETA, Dreamworks, Digital Domain, etc. (I think PIXAR uses their own in-house software, but I could be wrong).

Here's my intro to 3D animation final project. This was made with about 6 months worth of experience in the program and some great teaching from Eric Hanson (http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/gallery/hanson.html). The rendering alone took me about 3 weeks and I had to essentially stop attending two of my classes to get it finished in time (the last scene took 49 hours to render and I had to do it three different times because the computer kept making mistakes). Even with all of that, I didn't finish this until about 90 minutes before the big student exhibition for that semester. So I didn't have time to mess around with sound effects, I just put it to music (unfortunately, it loses a lot in the compression here):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLSkVFFrwvk

Ji'dai
02-28-2009, 01:05 PM
So what are the most reliable PC laptop brands? After checking reviews, it seems like I've read horror stories about nearly every machine on the market. And every new PC out there is preloaded with Windows Vista which everyone seems to hate with a passion.

Who out there owns a laptop? Are you pleased with its performance and would you recommend it?

JediTricks
03-01-2009, 03:08 AM
I like my Compaq/HP (HP now owns Compaq, so it's all the same). Vista sucks, but their new Mini is shipping with XP again, and has a beautiful keyboard for a netbook, based on the reviews and the model I tried at Best Buy. I put a larger harddrive and another gig of RAM into my laptop, and it was super easy, I have to really give credit to HP for designing a machine that has user-serviceable parts. (Vista, on the other hand, burned the recovery discs wrong so the new install had to wait until I received replacement discs for $20 :p). The pricing on the HP laptops are all pretty decent, especially for what you get compared to other laptops around $500, and they have chat-based tech support for free even after the warranty ends.

sith_killer_99
03-01-2009, 11:09 AM
I have to agree with JT here. HP is an excellent brand, they are a solid company with a good track record.

I bought my 17 inch HP while I was deployed, I was so impressed that I bought one for my wife. When I returned home, we decided to buy a laptop for my daughter, I found a nice 15 inch HP at Wal-Mart for around $550.00, which included 3GB of ram.

There were several factors why I went with HP.

1. Options, HP has a large variety of optional components. Things like video cards, hard drives, processors (Intel or AMD), RAM, optical drives, wireless, displays, etc.

2. Price, HP has very competitive prices for their products. They are among the best in terms of price and quality. No surprise there, since HP is the largest producer on PC's.

3. Support, HP has good customer support. Not the best in the world, certainly there are a lot of complaints online. However, that is bound to happen when you are producing more PC's than anyone else. Overall, I would have to give HP a score of 85 (out of 100) in terms of customer support. Their phone tech support is not the best (India?), but I have heard some good stuff about their online support. That could be a problem if you have no access to the internet because your computer is down. LOL Also HP has partnered with local shops to perform certified repairs on their computers. You may want to see if they have an authorized repair shop near you. I say all of this, not because HP is unreliable, but because it's always best to be prepared for the worst case scenario, that way you know what you will be getting into ahead of time if anything goes wrong. If HP does not have a local shop near you, then you will have to mail it in to them, which takes more time. Overall, I have found HP to be very reliable. All three of our HP's are doing well, none have had any kind of hardware problems that required repair by the company. I focused on this because tech support has always been a big issue for me, regardless of what I am purchasing. With that said, if tech support is your #1 priority, then go with Apple.

4. Design, I love HP's design. My 17 inch has a nice full keyboard with full number pad, slick touch key media controls, Altec Lansing speakers, comfortable touch pad with on/off button, three USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 Firewire 400...ports a plenty. As JT said HP's design also allows for easy upgrades of RAM and hard drives.

5. The down side...in a word...bloatware!!! As the largest producer of PC's and in order to cut down costs on their products, HP has this horrible tendency to place extra software on their machines. By doing this HP generates additional revenue and is able to lower the cost to the consumer. I don't know about you...but I HATE bloatware! So I suggest, if you buy an HP, you spend a little extra time gutting the obtrusive software from your system.

As I mentioned, HP offers tons of options for their computers. Many of those options can be upgraded later on, however, some cannot. Here are some things to remember.

1. The video card. This is a MAJOR component in your system and for all practical purposes it cannot be upgraded. If you have a little extra money to spend on any component, I suggest you get the upgraded video card. Do a little research in this arena and spring for the extra cost, it will pay off in the long run.

2. HP offers upgraded displays which are among the most impressive in the industry. No lie, I sprung for the extra cash and bought the Ultra BrightView display. When I first set it up next to my old Toshiba I though my Toshiba had come unplugged, the display on it was so dim compared to the HP. Of course it wasn't unplugged, the HP Ultra BrightView was just that bright! HP's latest is called the BrightView Infinity.

3. Hard drives and memory. These are good to upgrade later on, if you find your system is slowing down, upgrade the RAM, if you find you need more storage space then upgrade the hard drive, or just buy a small portable, USB powered hard drive. Either way, I wouldn't recommend upgrading off the bat, find out what your needs are as you use your system.

4. Pre-configured. Often times you can find really good deals on HP laptops at major retail stores, I found Wal-Mart to be the best in terms of prices for a basic 15 inch HP. Also be aware that many pre-configured retail systems do not have the extras like upgraded video cards or displays.


The Apple alternative....

As I mentioned earlier, Apple is well known for their customer support. Additionally, Apple's new OS (OS 10.5) allows you to install a Windows OS (such as XP) in "Bootcamp". This gives you the best of both worlds, no dealing with Vista plus a reliable computer with first class support. The down side here is cost. I have made several comparisons between Apple and HP and no matter how you cut it Apple just costs more. On the flip side, you would be able to play around with OS X, which I have heard good things about.

Anyway, I hope this helped, good luck!:thumbsup:

Ji'dai
03-02-2009, 06:58 PM
I like my Compaq/HP (HP now owns Compaq, so it's all the same). Vista sucks, but their new Mini is shipping with XP again, and has a beautiful keyboard for a netbook, based on the reviews and the model I tried at Best Buy. I put a larger harddrive and another gig of RAM into my laptop, and it was super easy, I have to really give credit to HP for designing a machine that has user-serviceable parts. (Vista, on the other hand, burned the recovery discs wrong so the new install had to wait until I received replacement discs for $20 :p). The pricing on the HP laptops are all pretty decent, especially for what you get compared to other laptops around $500, and they have chat-based tech support for free even after the warranty ends. I always thought laptop components were difficult and expensive to upgrade or replace due to their proprietary nature. Good to hear that is not the case. What is the size of your screen, JT?


I have to agree with JT here. HP is an excellent brand, they are a solid company with a good track record. I was leaning towards HP since the local Sam's Club has several preconfigured models to choose from and they look impressive. Plus I can get a good price there if I use my Discover Card.

I'm used to working with 17" desktop monitors so I'm wary of getting laptop with a smaller screen size. I don't want to squint while using Word or Excel.

Is there really any difference in processors from Intel versus ones from AMD? The model (DV7-1267CL) (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01647272&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=3878253) I was looking at has an 2.2 GHz AMD Turion X2.


1. The video card. This is a MAJOR component in your system and for all practical purposes it cannot be upgraded. If you have a little extra money to spend on any component, I suggest you get the upgraded video card. Do a little research in this arena and spring for the extra cost, it will pay off in the long run. The model I was looking at has an ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics RS780M. I have no idea if that's a good card or not. I doubt I'll play any PC games but I will be taking advantage of the computer's Blu-ray player to watch movies on the road and hooking it up to my HDTV at home.


2. HP offers upgraded displays which are among the most impressive in the industry. No lie, I sprung for the extra cash and bought the Ultra BrightView display. HP's latest is called the BrightView Infinity. The model I was looking at has an WXGA+ High-Definition HP BrightView display.

Thanks for the input, fellas!

sith_killer_99
03-03-2009, 12:37 PM
That's a pretty solid system. The graphics are "integrated" so there is no separate graphics card per say. However, the IGP (integrated graphics processor) is designed to work really well with your main CPU. It has Direct X 10 capability and an HDMI output, you should be good for watching blu-ray and even a little gaming if you want.

I wouldn't sweat the CPU, both Intel and AMD have solid processors.:thumbsup:

JediTricks
03-07-2009, 07:18 PM
I always thought laptop components were difficult and expensive to upgrade or replace due to their proprietary nature. Some are, like secondary drive bays, others aren't, like RAM and hard drives. HP finally seems to get that users will want to put in more RAM and hard drives, that's the only stuff that's easily user-serviceable but it's the only stuff that needs to be, IMO. I'm not going to be changing the CPU or DVD drive or even the speakers anytime soon, but RAM and hard drives are always worth upgrading.


Good to hear that is not the case. What is the size of your screen, JT?It's a 15.4" screen, and I'd say that's the largest carryable size of laptop, after that it's more like lugging around a home theater. :p


I was leaning towards HP since the local Sam's Club has several preconfigured models to choose from and they look impressive. Plus I can get a good price there if I use my Discover Card.It helps to have the internet, you can look up user reviews on almost every laptop on either cnet or amazon or best buy, and can get specs to look up specific components like the CPU, motherboard, etc..


I'm used to working with 17" desktop monitors so I'm wary of getting laptop with a smaller screen size. I don't want to squint while using Word or Excel.I had the same concern, I was working with a 17" CRT when I got my laptop. The 15.4" screen on it is widescreen rather than 4:3 of my old monitor, but it turns out that the old monitor's usable space was exactly as high as my laptop's screen, so that worked out peachy. (Since then, I got a 22" LCD monitor for my desktop pc, which is way better.)


Is there really any difference in processors from Intel versus ones from AMD? The model (DV7-1267CL) (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01647272&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=3878253) I was looking at has an 2.2 GHz AMD Turion X2.Depends on what you're trying to do with it. Some chips run hotter than others, some require more power while others sip, some have built-in powersaving programming, some require more airflow, and all of those factors depend also on how much processing you're going to require. My laptop is a "toy", I don't do work on it, the only heavy processing stuff I ever do is the occasional photoshopping, and ripping CDs, so its 1.7ghz Intel Core 2 Duo is fine for the other stuff. Turion X2 is an ok chip from what I've heard, it's a mobile chip that'll do the powerhouse stuff if you need.



I wouldn't sweat the CPU, both Intel and AMD have solid processors.:thumbsup:They also both have crap processors, both in their low-end budget processors (my sister has a Centrino, I shake my head every time I have to use it, it's so laggy) and even some lemons in their higher end processors, so it pays to do the research ahead of time.

LusiferSam
03-08-2009, 01:17 AM
Totally changing gears (or maybe operating systems).

Apple finally refreshed they desktop models earlier this week. So as of last night I'm in count down mode. It won't ship until the end of the month. :( But that's ok, right now I terrible busy and setting up a new machine would be really bad idea. Yes, it's a fair chuck of chance but I've been planning on this upgrade.

Mad Slanted Powers
03-08-2009, 01:36 AM
I finally bought OS 10.5 last month, but haven't installed it yet. I've never really had a backup plan in place, so before I install it, I want to make sure I have all my iTunes purchases and other important things backed up.

Blue2th
03-08-2009, 03:19 AM
Just bought OS 10.5 Leopard myself a couple of weeks ago. Before that I bought a new Seagate internal hard drive for my G5.

Had to do everything on a Mac Mini there for a while.

I decided to take some computer classes at the local community college.
Unfortunately none of the classes are on Apple. Everything PC, so I have to get some of the Microsoft for Mac software to start.
Office 2008, prerequisite just to get into later classes with Photoshop and Illustrator or any other computer classes offered.

Any Apple classes are at the University and way too expensive.

Darth Jax
04-02-2009, 09:36 PM
i just bought a new iMac. My old G4 worked great for so many years, but it was time to finally replace it.

LusiferSam
04-02-2009, 11:08 PM
Well, I got the new computer two weeks ago (those lairs at Apple :love:). The transfer was a breeze. My personally files were a lot smaller then I thought. I thought I had about 50 GB worth of stuff. Well no, it was only about 10 GB. The apps were pretty easy. Firefox and Thunderbird were no problem at all. Fink had issues, Tex and LaTex were a total pain (I ultimately had to install a new X11 build), Lyx and everything else was pretty easy.

I'm not 100% sold on the new keyboard. It's nice, but there's a few things I don't like about. The two DVD drives are great, I just love it. The machine itself is a lot quieter than the G5 when running. But all the fan rev loudly went waking up from sleep. Speed wise, I haven't noticed too much of a difference yet. But g77 and g95 both compiled a ton faster.

Now I just need to clean up the G5. :rolleyes: Remove all my music, photos, files and the like in order to get it ready for the next phase of it's life.

sith_killer_99
04-03-2009, 12:17 AM
Sweet, I'll be honest, I would like to buy a MAC, I would love to try out the OS, I've heard so much about.

Unfortunately, with the new car and long term payments I will be making, another new computer (we have bought 3 in the last 12-18 months) is out of the question.

LusiferSam
04-03-2009, 01:06 AM
Sweet, I'll be honest, I would like to buy a MAC, I would love to try out the OS, I've heard so much about.

I'm really, really sorry, but this is irritating me to no end. It's Mac, not MAC. Big M, little a, little c. Mac is short for Macintosh, line of computer made by Apple Inc. MAC is an acronym for Medium Access Control. Every reference on Apple's web site is made using Mac. Nobody using a Macintosh types MAC when they mean Mac. Please stop typing it that that way.

Ok, now that I have those flames out of my system...

sith_killer_99
04-03-2009, 08:21 AM
Nobody using a Macintosh types MAC when they mean Mac.

With 85%-90% of the market dominated by PC's and PC users accustomed to referring to computers in CAPS, it's probably a pretty common mistake.


I'm really, really sorry, but this is irritating me to no end. It's Mac, not MAC. Big M, little a, little c. Mac is short for Macintosh, line of computer made by Apple Inc. MAC is an acronym for Medium Access Control.

PC is an acronym for Personal Computer.:crazed:

Oh, and CAPS wasn't meant to be an acronym for anything....I just used caps to emphasize a point. lol


Please stop typing it that that way.

I will try, but I can't promise, since I only use the term every 6 months or so, and when I do someone always points out to me that it is "Mac...not MAC" and I still haven't gotten it through my think skull. I suppose I could go around correcting everyone who refers to their system memory as ram, when it is in fact RAM....an acronym for Random Access Memory, but since we all know what the person is talking about, I hardly find it worth the effort, besides I may come across as...;)

Seriously man, I'm just busting on you here. I will make a more conscious effort to type it out correctly in the future. I forget how hard core Mac/iMac/Mac Mini users are.;)

Darth Jax
04-03-2009, 08:29 AM
I forget how hard core Mac/iMac/Mac Mini users are.;)

Most are hard-core fans of the Mac, for others its a hatred of all things Microsoft.

Blue2th
04-03-2009, 09:34 AM
Yeah I like Macs, but it seems at least in my area, it's an elite system when it comes to learning anything on them, or getting any training.
So I have to learn apps at the local community college on Microsoft PC, buy the crossover software and hope to god it looks and operates the same on the desktop.

Luckily my teacher in my current class realizes there is some difficulty for me translating those differences when I do my homework.
It's not till much later, after I learn all the prerequisites on PC that I think there is one class on Macs.

What happened to equal opportunity training on computers? No choice.
You would think with the Movie industry moving heavily into New Mexico, there would be State sponsored inexpensive training on Macs. Which is what most of them use I've been told and seen myself.

BTW: I like some of the MS software I'm encountering so far.

LusiferSam
04-03-2009, 05:28 PM
I forget how hard core Mac/iMac/Mac Mini users are.;)

It is called the Cult of the Mac for a reason. :yes: I've always said when Steve Jobs says it's time to line up for Kool-aid, I'll drink. While I'm sure Gates and Ballmer would love to be demigods too, they'll just have have to settle of being richer than God. :p

Mad Slanted Powers
04-03-2009, 05:51 PM
Yeah I like Macs, but it seems at least in my area, it's an elite system when it comes to learning anything on them, or getting any training.
So I have to learn apps at the local community college on Microsoft PC, buy the crossover software and hope to god it looks and operates the same on the desktop.

Luckily my teacher in my current class realizes there is some difficulty for me translating those differences when I do my homework.
It's not till much later, after I learn all the prerequisites on PC that I think there is one class on Macs.

What happened to equal opportunity training on computers? No choice.
You would think with the Movie industry moving heavily into New Mexico, there would be State sponsored inexpensive training on Macs. Which is what most of them use I've been told and seen myself.

BTW: I like some of the MS software I'm encountering so far.
What sort of programs do you need classes on? I would think you could buy a book or find forums online that offer help. Those programs that are also on a PC shouldn't be too different in how they function. It's just a matter of learning the different interface and where all the commands and options are.

DarthQuack
04-04-2009, 03:36 AM
http://www.ahashare.com/imdbimages/0095560_big.jpg

Blue2th
04-04-2009, 09:11 AM
What sort of programs do you need classes on? I would think you could buy a book or find forums online that offer help. Those programs that are also on a PC shouldn't be too different in how they function. It's just a matter of learning the different interface and where all the commands and options are.

Microsoft Office. Yeah it's the interface that looked a little different. I just hit a rough patch there when the defaults on my software didn't match the schools. So homework looked different for a little while also till I could match them up.
The ribbon and some of the drop down menus were different, so I had a hard time finding them in the places I expected them to be.

I wouldn't even take these if they weren't prerequisites to get into the graphics software etc. classes. I'll undoubtedly encounter the same sort of things as I go on to other software programs.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-04-2009, 10:36 AM
The thing with Microsoft Office is that the menus and commands are pretty customizable. I don't have the Mac version to compare to what I use at work though. For me the big difference is that on my Mac I can't access the menu commands with the keyboard as easily. At work I can do things pretty fast by using ALT to access the menus, and by using lots of other keyboard shortcuts.

JediTricks
04-06-2009, 12:38 AM
I'm really, really sorry, but this is irritating me to no end. It's Mac, not MAC. Big M, little a, little c. Mac is short for Macintosh, line of computer made by Apple Inc. MAC is an acronym for Medium Access Control. Every reference on Apple's web site is made using Mac. Nobody using a Macintosh types MAC when they mean Mac. Please stop typing it that that way.

Ok, now that I have those flames out of my system...Never heard of that "MAC", but MAC is also an acronym for Media Access Control, I have been seeing this a lot dealing with my router (I limited the system access to only specific MAC addresses to avoid attacks).

Oh, and nobody cares about Mac, so they're not familiar with its little spelling foibles. ;)



So, my mom gave me her Asus Eee PC 8G, it's a tiny netbook that runs on Xandros Linux, boots in under 20 seconds, has a solid-state drive instead of a spinning hard drive. It's cute, and it runs Firefox and OpenOffice fairly well, but it does NOT get along with my router at all, and the keyboard is a bit on the small side for my man-hands. Xandros has a decent GUI, the Asus menu system that runs on top of that ain't so bad neither, but as I'm a child of DOS, I tend to jump into the terminal pretty quick despite knowing very few Linux commands. I messed around a little in there, but ultimately I am selling it and getting an HP Mini 1000, which runs XP so it'll work with my router for sure, and has a very nice keyboard. If I were giving this machine to my sister, I'd probably give her the MIE Linux from HP instead, no viruses in the wild and it runs Firefox like a champ, plus it's $50 cheaper from not having to pay Bill Gates off.

LusiferSam
04-06-2009, 01:35 PM
Never heard of that "MAC", but MAC is also an acronym for Media Access Control
What the! Fricking dyslexia. I meant media not medium. One of those weird random spelling errors of mine. This almost as bad as when I caught a sentence on Friday that had none of the right words in it, but all spelled correctly.


Oh, and nobody cares about Mac, so they're not familiar with its little spelling foibles. ;)
Yes, there's lots of us nobodies here. :p

Maybe I'm just more sensitive to this type of thing because of the dyslexia. I pay more attention because I have to. It's like Sabé. I think I'm the only person here who brothers to use the accent.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-06-2009, 06:52 PM
What the! Fricking dyslexia. I meant media not medium. One of those weird random spelling errors of mine. This almost as bad as when I caught a sentence on Friday that had none of the right words in it, but all spelled correctly. Well, media is the plural of medium, unless medium is referring to something between large and small.


Yes, there's lots of us nobodies here. :pCount me amongst the nobodies! I've been a Mac user for over 24 years now.


Maybe I'm just more sensitive to this type of thing because of the dyslexia. I pay more attention because I have to. It's like Sabé. I think I'm the only person here who brothers to use the accent.I usually try to put the accent on Padmé and other names if I don't forget. It's always been pretty easy to do on a Mac. On a PC, I don't know all the shortcuts, if there even are any for a lot of special characters. On a Mac, all I need to do is [Option]-E and then the letter I want the accent over. Umlauts are [Option]-U.

LusiferSam
04-06-2009, 09:05 PM
Well, media is the plural of medium, unless medium is referring to something between large and small.
Media is the right word not, medium. I can never be 100% sure of what I was thinking at the time, all I know is made sense to me then. Frequently when minor things escape me it's only later when somebody points them out by I see the mistake.


I usually try to put the accent on Padmé and other names if I don't forget. It's always been pretty easy to do on a Mac. On a PC, I don't know all the shortcuts, if there even are any for a lot of special characters. On a Mac, all I need to do is [Option]-E and then the letter I want the accent over. Umlauts are [Option]-U.
I have no clue how to do special characters on a PC. A couple of years ago I was writing something on my uncle's computer and kept going for the Option key and finding out there was no Option key. Windows shortcuts suck. Only a few make sense to me. Then it's the Control key rather than the Apple key, so the keys in different spots and it feels funny.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-07-2009, 12:20 AM
Media is the right word not, medium. I can never be 100% sure of what I was thinking at the time, all I know is made sense to me then. Frequently when minor things escape me it's only later when somebody points them out by I see the mistake.


I have no clue how to do special characters on a PC. A couple of years ago I was writing something on my uncle's computer and kept going for the Option key and finding out there was no Option key. Windows shortcuts suck. Only a few make sense to me. Then it's the Control key rather than the Apple key, so the keys in different spots and it feels funny.There is a thing called Character Map if I remember correctly. Basically you open it up, find the character you want and copy it. There are some shortcuts for some characters, but I had trouble finding them in the help, and some of them seemed kind of tricky, such as typing some sort of code. Mac has always had something like the old Key Caps program. You get a view of the keyboard where you can see what effect all the modifier keys will have just by pushing them. You can change the font too, and some fonts have different special characters.

JediTricks
04-07-2009, 07:12 PM
I have no clue how to do special characters on a PC. A couple of years ago I was writing something on my uncle's computer and kept going for the Option key and finding out there was no Option key. Windows shortcuts suck. Only a few make sense to me. Then it's the Control key rather than the Apple key, so the keys in different spots and it feels funny.Since there are so many characters, it's done through the ALT key. "ALT+0233" = é
The character map that MSP mentioned shows the various keystrokes it'd take to bring up those characters, or you can just copy-paste them from the map.

The Windows key has hotkey shortcuts, the Control key has different shortcuts (my fav is CTRL+Tab, switches tabs), the Alt key has its own different shortcuts (ALT+Tab switches windows). Windows has always been about button-presses while Apple has mostly been more about GUI work, that's why their mouse didn't have 2 buttons until recently. That drove me nuts.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-07-2009, 07:37 PM
Since there are so many characters, it's done through the ALT key. "ALT+0233" = é
The character map that MSP mentioned shows the various keystrokes it'd take to bring up those characters, or you can just copy-paste them from the map.

The Windows key has hotkey shortcuts, the Control key has different shortcuts (my fav is CTRL+Tab, switches tabs), the Alt key has its own different shortcuts (ALT+Tab switches windows). Windows has always been about button-presses while Apple has mostly been more about GUI work, that's why their mouse didn't have 2 buttons until recently. That drove me nuts.

I had a Kensington Turbo Mouse that was a big track ball and four buttons. It allowed me to do right-click types of things that would normally require a control-click on a Mac.

The Mac has a lot of those keyboard shortcuts now - Command-Tab switches apps, Command-` switches windows, and Command-{ or Command-} switches tabs in my browser.

I certainly make use of the keyboard at work though. A few of my keys have been worn down and some even have grooves in them. The left alt and control keys are the worst.

JediTricks
04-07-2009, 07:52 PM
I almost never need special characters, so I just fly straight to the char map. I right-click a lot, I do a lot of stuff with the right-click menu, so I really need it. I even center-click for multiple uses (it opens links in new windows, as well as going free-scroll). I use the Windows "Start" Key + E for the explorer a ton, my grandmother's keyboard is older and doesn't have it, always confounds me. On my laptop, I do a ton of Alt+Tab to switch windows, I actually learned that one from Steve. I don't use the menu-pulldown key though, and I don't know 1 person who does.

I almost never use my right control, start, or alt keys at all. My tab key has a groove worn in it as well.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-07-2009, 08:09 PM
I don't use the menu-pulldown key though, and I don't know 1 person who does.I use that key some, mostly in Access for checking properties of a table.

LusiferSam
04-08-2009, 12:56 AM
Technically the Alt key and Option key are the same. But on Mac keyboards the Apple key is next to the space bar. Which totally mess with me when I'm on the Linux machines in my office. Many of the basic shortcuts are the same, but use the Control key instead of the Command key.

I have to say I really hate the current character map on the Mac. I think it's unessential hidden. Key Caps was make more useful. I frequently use special characters. I know many of them, but not all. Unit wise I'd much rather type Å than angstrom, µ than micro. Or sometimes I'll be typing equations. ∂/∂x x^4 [n + n^2 ∂n/∂x] is a lot nicer then the alternative.

Until I started using some X11 programs like SAO's DS9 I had very little use for more than one mouse button. Outside school related work about the only program I'll use a the second mouse button in is Firefox for things like spell check and saving. But I'm so use to Control clicking, I find I still do that sometimes.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-08-2009, 01:26 AM
I have to say I really hate the current character map on the Mac. I think it's unessential hidden.I'm using 10.4.11 and there is a Keyboard Viewer in the Keyboard menu or whatever it is called up in the top right with the little American flag. I guess it is called the Input Menu, and the icon in the menu depends on what keyboard layout you are using. The Character Palette is in the same menu. Play a trick on someone by switching the layout to a Dvorak keyboard and make it so the Input menu doesn't show up there.


Until I started using some X11 programs like SAO's DS9 I had very little use for more than one mouse button. Outside school related work about the only program I'll use a the second mouse button in is Firefox for things like spell check and saving. But I'm so use to Control clicking, I find I still do that sometimes.Until I got this new computer with the new Apple mouse, I never really used a scroll wheel, even on the mouse on the PC at work. But I really got used to this mini scroll ball on the Apple Mouse. The only problem is it would stop working from time to time. Eventually, I couldn't get it working again, so I bought another one. Unlike the old mice, I can just take it apart to clean the ball. I've also had issues with the side buttons. They were set to bring up the Exposé feature showing all windows. However, it sometimes would get really sensitive. I was having a heck of a time with it the other night, so I went into the mouse settings and turned it off. I can get the same thing with F9 if I want.

JediTricks
04-08-2009, 03:53 PM
I use that key some, mostly in Access for checking properties of a table.Yeah, but you're a Mac user, doesn't really count in my book, you guys are still getting used to the right-click. ;)

DarthQuack
04-08-2009, 04:49 PM
You're all a bunch of nerds :yes:

Blue2th
04-08-2009, 08:27 PM
Yeah, but you're a Mac user, doesn't really count in my book, you guys are still getting used to the right-click. ;)
Yes, I wouldn't do without one now, the right click mouse (and scroll) that is.

LusiferSam
04-08-2009, 09:18 PM
Yeah, but you're a Mac user, doesn't really count in my book, you guys are still getting used to the right-click. ;)

That's ok. I think Windows users are still getting used to Windows being the Operating System rather than just the Operating Environment.:laugh:

JediTricks
04-09-2009, 01:05 AM
You're all a bunch of nerds :yes:And if it wasn't for us nerds, you'd be computing in BASIC or at best still using DOS on an old dial-up Usenet chatroom.



Yes, I wouldn't do without one now, the right click mouse (and scroll) that is.Yeah, the scroll wheel rules, it's vital to modern computing. I'd count that as probably more important than the right-click. For me, the mouse necessities are click (obviously), wheel, right-click, optical (I still remember using the kind with the ball inside, and the wheels reading its motion would get all that gunk on them and it'd get all gritty, I'd take 'em out and clean them but it'd never be quite good enough again), and now, wireless.



That's ok. I think Windows users are still getting used to Windows being the Operating System rather than just the Operating Environment.:laugh:I don't get this statement at all. Of course, I've been using Windows since Win 3.1, so maybe it's beneath me, but I can't think of a single non-techy Windows user who thinks of it as anything other than the ubiquitous computer operating system (they usually know enough not to buy and install programs for Mac, they know "PC and Mac aren't the same, I have a PC, PC and Windows are the same thing"), and certainly doesn't know what the hell to do with the DOS shell command window (to be fair, the only thing I do with the command window is traceroutes these days).

Mad Slanted Powers
04-09-2009, 01:31 AM
I think what he means is that in the beginning, Windows was just a Mac OS imitation running on top of DOS.

I've been seeing these PC ads now where they have people being challenged to find a PC for a certain price that has what they want. So, it seems to emphasize how much cheaper you can get a PC. One guy said something about how with Macs you're just paying for aesthetics rather than computing power. I'd say Macs have as much computing power, and those aesthetics can make for a better computing experience and less downtime dealing with many of the issues PC users have to deal with.

Blue2th
04-09-2009, 10:12 AM
Yeah, the scroll wheel rules, it's vital to modern computing. I'd count that as probably more important than the right-click. For me, the mouse necessities are click (obviously), wheel, right-click, optical (I still remember using the kind with the ball inside, and the wheels reading its motion would get all that gunk on them and it'd get all gritty, I'd take 'em out and clean them but it'd never be quite good enough again), and now, wireless.




What's odd is you can click the wheel itself and get this screen with a calendar showing the date and day, an analog clock with the time, a calculator, and the weather with the 5 day forecast.

LusiferSam
04-09-2009, 01:30 PM
I don't get this statement at all.
(Sighs) Ok, I'll explain.


I think what he means is that in the beginning, Windows was just a Mac OS imitation running on top of DOS.
Half right. It's a bad imitation of the Mac OS. :p

Ok for my explain. Windows 1-3 were just shells the run on top of DOS, Window Dresses. Hence is just an operating environment, where as MS-DOS was the operating system. Windows NT was build separability from MS-DOS. NT never ran on top of or with DOS as the two were separate operating systems.

Windows 9x were an odd mix. Now my understanding is that Windows 95 runs on top of MS-DOS, but isn't simply a GUI shell like Windows 1-3. It's basically two OSes running at the same time with one dependent on the other (please correct me if this is incorrect). So the gab is at Windows "recent" adaption of a full NT OS rather than a DOS based OS.

Ji'dai
04-09-2009, 01:41 PM
(Sighs) Ok, I'll explain.


Half right. It's a bad imitation of the Mac OS. :p

Ok for my explain. Windows 1-3 were just shells the run on top of DOS, Window Dresses. Hence is just an operating environment, where as MS-DOS was the operating system. Windows NT was build separability from MS-DOS. NT never ran on top of or with DOS as the two were separate operating systems.

Windows 9x were an odd mix. Now my understanding is that Windows 95 runs on top of MS-DOS, but isn't simply a GUI shell like Windows 1-3. It's basically two OSes running at the same time with one dependent on the other (please correct me if this is incorrect). So the gab is at Windows "recent" adaption of a full NT OS rather than a DOS based OS.

Wasn't the first Mac OS just a copy of Xerox's OS with a GUI interface and pointing device (mouse) that they created back in the late sixties? I thought Microsoft and Apple settled their dispute by both agreeing that they got their ideas from the same source.

LusiferSam
04-09-2009, 03:53 PM
Wasn't the first Mac OS just a copy of Xerox's OS with a GUI interface and pointing device (mouse) that they created back in the late sixties? I thought Microsoft and Apple settled their dispute by both agreeing that they got their ideas from the same source.

Mostly. Xerox's PARC came up with the idea of the graphic user interface in the early seventies. Apple, including Steve Jobs and a bunch of form Xerox folks turned Apple programmers, visited PARC in '79. This wasn't done in a underhanded way or with malice as late told. Xerox welcome Apple with fairly open arms. And this was after Apple had started work on Lisa and the Mac. Apple's GUI was took up where Xerox's left off, which was missing many common features.

I've hear many versions where Microsoft got Windows from. Xerox, Apple, Gates and Ballmer, or some other source. Not that it matters. All the law suits settled in '97.

JediTricks
04-13-2009, 04:14 PM
I think what he means is that in the beginning, Windows was just a Mac OS imitation running on top of DOS. That's unfair. Bill Gates worked on the Mac GUI and urged Apple to release their APL so outside developers could build for it, making Apple the personal computer standard over DOS, and Apple chose not to because they were sure their Lisa computer would be so superior that it'd take over alone. Bill Gates, wanting to advance the computing cause and seeing Apple mess it up with the inability to grow their brand properly by dragging their feet and trying to create a monopoly, eventually released Windows and then Windows 2.0 (the one Apple sued Microsoft over, a case which Apple lost). Bill Gates wanted to ditch DOS and have MS write programs on an Apple GUI world, but Apple's new management got too greedy and blew it.

In any case, both the Apple Lisa and MS Windows GUI concepts were ripped off from the Xerox prototype which Xerox stupidly loaned both emerging companies to examine. And the GEM system was better than both early Mac GUI and early Windows.


I've been seeing these PC ads now where they have people being challenged to find a PC for a certain price that has what they want. So, it seems to emphasize how much cheaper you can get a PC. One guy said something about how with Macs you're just paying for aesthetics rather than computing power. I'd say Macs have as much computing power, and those aesthetics can make for a better computing experience and less downtime dealing with many of the issues PC users have to deal with.You can say it has much more computing power all you want, but it's totally false. Dollar for dollar, PCs are way ahead of Macs in computing power:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/161700/article.html
http://www.pcworld.com/article/161668/mac_vs_windows_what_does_1k_get_you.html
http://www.laptopmag.com/mobile-life/mac-myths-debunked.aspx?page=2
And the slight gains that Mac has CPU efficiency are rebuffed by the slight gains PC has on RAM and graphics processing efficiency.

Of course, your best processing dollar is the PS3, which can be chained together with a few others to make an actual supercomputer (http://www.physorg.com/news148749271.html).



What's odd is you can click the wheel itself and get this screen with a calendar showing the date and day, an analog clock with the time, a calculator, and the weather with the 5 day forecast.That is odd, I prefer when I click the wheel to get the "move the window in any direction via mouse movement" icon. Love that little sucker? You know where I can click for that stuff on my PCs? My Windows toolbar, it has the time which can show calendar and analog clock, and the calculator. As for weather, I click my eyes out the window, or just go to Weather.com, but my Vista laptop has the gadget for weather (as well as all the other stuff you mentioned), I just find it a waste of my time to have as I don't care. I can't defend Vista's additions as not being ripoffs of Mac ideas though, they clearly are, but I'm not a Vista/Windows 7 convert anyway (I'm not anti-Windows 7, I'm just anti-Beta on my machines).



(Sighs) Ok, I'll explain.

Half right. It's a bad imitation of the Mac OS. :p

Ok for my explain. Windows 1-3 were just shells the run on top of DOS, Window Dresses. Hence is just an operating environment, where as MS-DOS was the operating system. Windows NT was build separability from MS-DOS. NT never ran on top of or with DOS as the two were separate operating systems.

Windows 9x were an odd mix. Now my understanding is that Windows 95 runs on top of MS-DOS, but isn't simply a GUI shell like Windows 1-3. It's basically two OSes running at the same time with one dependent on the other (please correct me if this is incorrect). So the gab is at Windows "recent" adaption of a full NT OS rather than a DOS based OS.XP has been around how long? 7 years? It's the operating system standard of the world, and it's not DOS-based, so it's a cheap shot to dig at Win 95 since it's an OS that is 14 years old (and worked quite well for its time). I don't see you giving Apple any crap for the Lisa. And it sure as hell wasn't the Mac OS in any of its iterations that led to the modern internet world, it was Windows 95.

Anyway, as I understand it, Win 95-based OS'es are integrations of DOS & Windows, they are a single operating system rather than one being installed on top of the other the way Windows 1 through 3 were. With those, DOS was the foundation and Win 3 was the house, but Win 95 was more blended than that.

----


BTW, after doing a little hands-on research with the HP Mini 1000, it doesn't fit what I'm looking for in terms of functionality, so after a ton of research, I'm thinking of buying another ASUS Eee PC. I know, that's crazy, but the Eee 901 has a TON of good additions, it's really small but has the same RAM and processor, comes with the 6-cell battery and fixed the battery drain issue so it can go a long time, and is $275 shipped! My only 2 reservations are the small keyboard (it's been improved from the 900 and 702 supposedly) and the 4gb master SSD that holds the OS (they did this stupidly, the machine has 2 SSDs and they install the OS on the 4gb instead of the 8gb despite Win XP requiring nearly 4gb with updates). The keyboard I am hoping to find a live version and try, I was able to type on the 702 but it was a bit of a pain. The drive overload problem is apparently something that can be addressed by moving Documents and Program Files folders onto the other drive (it's not quite that simple, but that's the basics).

And just to keep the tone of this thread going, I am buying a NEW netbook which has a 1.6ghz Intel processor and 1gb of RAM upgradeable to 2gb running Win XP for under $300. Apple's cheapest small laptop costs? Oh, that's right, a thousand bucks. And it's still around 4" larger and over 2lbs heavier than the one I'm getting. :p The netbook they hinted at last year has yet to materialize, and their own estimates say it'll cost double what I'm paying.

Blue2th
04-13-2009, 05:01 PM
That's a cool article about the PS3. :shocked:
One more reason I really want at least one.
With that power you could maybe use one as a PC? That would be totally cool.

LusiferSam
04-13-2009, 05:54 PM
XP has been around how long? 7 years? It's the operating system standard of the world, and it's not DOS-based, so it's a cheap shot to dig at Win 95 since it's an OS that is 14 years old (and worked quite well for its time). I don't see you giving Apple any crap for the Lisa.
Yes it is a cheap shot at an old OS. Having never used a Lisa, Systems 1.0-5.0 or Windows 1.0 I can't comment on them. I have used Systems 6.0 through Mac OS 10.5 and Windows 2.0 through XP Home (my dad doesn't have or want Vista). So are my options of all of them:

System 6.x Don't remember my first impression. I understood how the computer worked after a few times. Huge step up for the Apple II I used early. Later impressions were it was a junk system with numerous problems.
System 7.0-7.1 Pretty good. A little unstable.
System 7.5 Great OS. Totally changed the Mac. Lightyears ahead of 95. But could be highly unstable on some types of machines.
Mac OS 8-8.6 A much needed upgrade. 8.0 and 8.5 were ok, 8.1 and 8.6 had problems. Slow to boot.
Mac OS 9.0-9.2 Not a huge change from 8.6, but a needed one. Had issuse with 9.1.
Mac OS X 10.0-10.1 Both were betas at best. 10.0 was nearly unusable.
Mac OS X 10.2-10.3 The first unable versions of X. 10.2 was prone of kernel panics early on.
Mac OS X 10.4-10.5 Tiger was better out of the box, but Leopard's issues were quickly worked out. Very sable. Across three machines, I've had one kernel panic in Tiger.

Windows 2.x Used for about 10 minutes when I was 11. Thought it was junk.
Windows 3 By the Mac standards of the early 90's it was a joke. Limited desktop, couldn't delete files easily, and I would sometime lose files.
Windows 95 A huge improvement over 3.1. I found it highly unstable. Some where in between Systems 6.08 and System 7.0 in term of user experience.
Windows 98 More stable than 95, but I didn't see a huge difference between the two.
Windows Me Fine the very few times I used it. But I know only one person liked this OS.
Windows XP Home The first version of Windows I thought was acceptable. Huge improvements in nearly everything. This is the system most people thought Windows 95 was in my opinion.


And it sure as hell wasn't the Mac OS in any of its iterations that led to the modern internet world, it was Windows 95.
You're right. But it wasn't Windows 95 either. It was Netscape and IE, the browser. Because the internet makes the OS mostly null, I use my Mac to spread my unending hatred of Gates, Ballmer and MS to those of you stuck using that crapware. Just as the MS monkeys here can throw poo at us cultist. lol :p lol


Anyway, as I understand it, Win 95-based OS'es are integrations of DOS & Windows, they are a single operating system rather than one being installed on top of the other the way Windows 1 through 3 were. With those, DOS was the foundation and Win 3 was the house, but Win 95 was more blended than that.
Oh that's stated much better than what I tried to say. Win 95/98 is a blend, but not a full blend, as DOS is still the foundation. But Windows is no longer just the house (it's a house that came with furniture :p).

Mad Slanted Powers
04-13-2009, 08:31 PM
Yes it is a cheap shot at an old OS. Having never used a Lisa, Systems 1.0-5.0 or Windows 1.0 I can't comment on them. I have used Systems 6.0 through Mac OS 10.5 and Windows 2.0 through XP Home (my dad doesn't have or want Vista). So are my options of all of them:

System 6.x Don't remember my first impression. I understood how the computer worked after a few times. Huge step up for the Apple II I used early. Later impressions were it was a junk system with numerous problems.
System 7.0-7.1 Pretty good. A little unstable.
System 7.5 Great OS. Totally changed the Mac. Lightyears ahead of 95. But could be highly unstable on some types of machines.
Mac OS 8-8.6 A much needed upgrade. 8.0 and 8.5 were ok, 8.1 and 8.6 had problems. Slow to boot.
Mac OS 9.0-9.2 Not a huge change from 8.6, but a needed one. Had issuse with 9.1.
Mac OS X 10.0-10.1 Both were betas at best. 10.0 was nearly unusable.
Mac OS X 10.2-10.3 The first unable versions of X. 10.2 was prone of kernel panics early on.
Mac OS X 10.4-10.5 Tiger was better out of the box, but Leopard's issues were quickly worked out. Very sable. Across three machines, I've had one kernel panic in Tiger.I've used a Mac since I got one for Christmas 1984. I had wanted an Apple II series or IBM type, mainly because I figured there would be more games available. However, the Mac was good because it was something that was easily usable right out of the box. That has good points and bad points. The plus side is that I didn't have to learn all the technical computer stuff that you needed to know to use a DOS-style OS. Word processing was WYSIWYG, which meant writing papers for school was easy. The negative side is that I didn't learn as much about the inner workings of the computer, and thus didn't become as tech savvy as someone such as JT.

Since I used my original Mac (upgraded to a 512Ke) up through 1995, I don't think I got beyond System 4.something. Then I got a Power Mac with 7.5, an iMac that I think came with 9.something. I think I was stuck with 10.1.4 on that one. Given what you are saying, combined with the computer I was running it on, no wonder it struggled. The new iMac with 10.4 has been pretty good though.

I used Windows XP Professional at work I believe, but I put the settings so that it looks like Windows Classic. I have trouble figuring out where everything is with the new format.


You're right. But it wasn't Windows 95 either. It was Netscape and IE, the browser. Because the internet makes the OS mostly null, I use my Mac to spread my unending hatred of Gates, Ballmer and MS to those of you stuck using that crapware. Just as the MS monkeys here can throw poo at us cultist. lol :p lolActually, those browsers are what made the internet accessible to a large number of people, but before that you had things like Usenet. People accessing the internet then were more likely to be tech geeks or people on college campuses using Unix or VAX/VMS terminals like we had at the college I went to.

JediTricks
04-17-2009, 04:33 PM
That's a cool article about the PS3. :shocked:
One more reason I really want at least one.
With that power you could maybe use one as a PC? That would be totally cool.Well, an individual one has a 3.2ghz Cell processor, 256mb of RAM, a user-expandable 2.5" hard drive bay, and USB ports, so it has the hardware for it. Even better though, the PS3 allows you to load a Linux OS if you like, so you really could use it as a powerful PC (on Windows, that 256m of ram wouldn't be enough for anything but XP, but Linux can do a lot more with it).


You're right. But it wasn't Windows 95 either. It was Netscape and IE, the browser. Without Win 95, almost nobody would have accessed Netscape Navigator (I still have a copy of NN 3 gold), and there wouldn't have been IE at all. It was the ease of use of Win 95 which got more people into buying PCs because they could do stuff and access the internet.


Oh that's stated much better than what I tried to say. Win 95/98 is a blend, but not a full blend, as DOS is still the foundation. But Windows is no longer just the house (it's a house that came with furniture :p).In this case, I'd argue it's not the foundation, more like part of the plumbing and electrical infrastructure.



Actually, those browsers are what made the internet accessible to a large number of people, but before that you had things like Usenet. People accessing the internet then were more likely to be tech geeks or people on college campuses using Unix or VAX/VMS terminals like we had at the college I went to.Usenet didn't open up the internet to anybody but a handful of nerds. ;) In those days, you could also do BBSes. And in Santa Monica, we had the PEN, the first municipal BBS in the world.

Ji'dai
06-17-2009, 04:13 PM
What security software are you guys running? The Norton Internet Security trial subscription that came installed on my notebook expires soon. I don't know if it'd be better to just renew it or try something else.

I've read a lot of complaints about Norton since it's a major resource hog, but it's also really hard to uninstall completely.

Anyone running freeware security software? Is it as reliable as the kind you'd pay for?

figrin bran
06-17-2009, 09:49 PM
What security software are you guys running? The Norton Internet Security trial subscription that came installed on my notebook expires soon. I don't know if it'd be better to just renew it or try something else.

I've read a lot of complaints about Norton since it's a major resource hog, but it's also really hard to uninstall completely.

Anyone running freeware security software? Is it as reliable as the kind you'd pay for?

I use McAfee Security Center (paid) but when I've had troubles with it, I've used Malwarebytes Anti Malware which is free. I've only run it a few times but it seems to work quite well.

LusiferSam
06-17-2009, 10:17 PM
What security software are you guys running? The Norton Internet Security trial subscription that came installed on my notebook expires soon. I don't know if it'd be better to just renew it or try something else.

I've read a lot of complaints about Norton since it's a major resource hog, but it's also really hard to uninstall completely.

Anyone running freeware security software? Is it as reliable as the kind you'd pay for?

Not that this helps you, but I run Intego VirusBarrier (version X5 I think). I use to run NAV and NUM (Norton Utilities for Mac). But both have pretty much been junk since I upgrade to Mac OS 8 (and that was 13 years ago). Norton is a total system hog, runs slow and at best is unstable. Intego runs nicely, its fast, isn't overly intrusive, and has minimal impact on the system. The downside is it's more expensive than NAV.

JediTricks
06-18-2009, 04:29 PM
What security software are you guys running? The Norton Internet Security trial subscription that came installed on my notebook expires soon. I don't know if it'd be better to just renew it or try something else.

I've read a lot of complaints about Norton since it's a major resource hog, but it's also really hard to uninstall completely.

Anyone running freeware security software? Is it as reliable as the kind you'd pay for?Norton sucks bad, it's an "avoid like the plague" software suite now, sadly. It used to be good, but they got bloated.

I'm using a freeware AV/Anti Spyware on my new XP laptop, Avast Antivirus, it's got great marks from a lot of sources, has tested much better than most paid AV's, starts up super fast and is a very low-resource program, and it's free. I'm running standard XP Firewall for that, plus at home my router has an on-line firewall as well. I would strongly suggest Avast Antivirus (http://www.avast.com/) home edition for a laptop user based on "free, works good, starts fast, uses less resources". Using less resources is important for battery life.

For my desktop PC, I'm using Zone Alarm Antivirus, it's a pay software, has a good firewall, a program firewall (keeps control on how programs connect to the system and to the internet), and an antivirus system designed from Kaspersky; no anti-spyware on my machine though, I'm just careful. I'm also running this on my old Vista laptop, plus Vista has Windows Defender anti-spyware for free.

I'm considering dropping Zone Alarm AV since it's $30 a year and I've been having an ok time with Avast on the laptop, but ZA does handle firewall and registry things much better. ZA offers Zone Alarm Firewall as freeware, but I hear it advertises like crazy.

Ji'dai
06-20-2009, 11:14 PM
I use McAfee Security Center (paid) but when I've had troubles with it, I've used Malwarebytes Anti Malware which is free. I've only run it a few times but it seems to work quite well. I hadn't heard of Malwarebytes. I'll have to look into that one.


Not that this helps you, but I run Intego VirusBarrier (version X5 I think). I use to run NAV and NUM (Norton Utilities for Mac). But both have pretty much been junk since I upgrade to Mac OS 8 (and that was 13 years ago). Norton is a total system hog, runs slow and at best is unstable. Intego runs nicely, its fast, isn't overly intrusive, and has minimal impact on the system. The downside is it's more expensive than NAV. Yeah, I'm a PC like 99.999% of the rest of humanity ;)


Norton sucks bad, it's an "avoid like the plague" software suite now, sadly. It used to be good, but they got bloated.

I'm using a freeware AV/Anti Spyware on my new XP laptop, Avast Antivirus, it's got great marks from a lot of sources, has tested much better than most paid AV's, starts up super fast and is a very low-resource program, and it's free. I'm running standard XP Firewall for that, plus at home my router has an on-line firewall as well. I would strongly suggest Avast Antivirus (http://www.avast.com/) home edition for a laptop user based on "free, works good, starts fast, uses less resources". Using less resources is important for battery life.

For my desktop PC, I'm using Zone Alarm Antivirus, it's a pay software, has a good firewall, a program firewall (keeps control on how programs connect to the system and to the internet), and an antivirus system designed from Kaspersky; no anti-spyware on my machine though, I'm just careful. I'm also running this on my old Vista laptop, plus Vista has Windows Defender anti-spyware for free.

I'm considering dropping Zone Alarm AV since it's $30 a year and I've been having an ok time with Avast on the laptop, but ZA does handle firewall and registry things much better. ZA offers Zone Alarm Firewall as freeware, but I hear it advertises like crazy. I'll probably go with Avast Antivirus; I've read a lot of good things about it. I'm running Vista x64 on my laptop and have Windows Defender, but I disabled it because I really didn't know what it was and figured it was redundant running both Norton and Defender. I'll have to start using it once I uninstall Norton.

Thanks everyone for the input!

JediTricks
06-25-2009, 10:10 PM
I'm not sure you need Avast and Defender as Avast is also an anti-malware, but I just realized I'm running them both, so either I'm making a terrible mistake or they work well together. Defender seems light enough on its own, so I leave it on.


BTW, tomorrow is the day Windows 7 upgrades will be given to Vista PC buyers. Upgrades for non-new buyers from XP or Vista only $49. I will be passing.

Ji'dai
06-26-2009, 01:43 PM
Changing security software was relatively painless. I downloaded a removal program from Norton and it uninstalled it without incident. As soon as it was gone, Windows Security Center popped up to tell me my computer was unprotected. I installed Avast and turned on Defender and let Windows monitor both programs.

In Win Security Center under the Malware Protection section, it tells me that both Avast and Defender and up to date and turned on so I guess there's no conflict.

Apparently Avast doesn't have a firewall built into it or if it does, it's not posing a conflict with Windows Firewall. Usually you can't run two firewalls at the same time.

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I'm not eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7. I bought my laptop in March but HP's offer only includes PCs purchased between June 26, 2009 - January 31, 2010.

Retail release for Windows 7 is October 22. I'm not sure I'd want to rush out and upgrade to a new OS anyway. Maybe after the first service pack is offered. I don't know how different it will be to what I'm running now - Vista with SP2 and IE 8.

JediTricks
06-26-2009, 02:41 PM
No, Avast doesn't have a firewall built in. Usually antivirus programs are separate from firewalls, unless you get a security suite.

That's a bummer about Windows 7's free upgrade. The stand-alone retail, yes, but you can buy the upgrade starting today at $49; after July 11th the upgrade will go up to $119. Personally, I'm so disenchanted with Vista that if I had the spare cash, I'd immediately upgrade to ANYTHING. :p

Wait, Vista has an SP2? Wow, I have to update my laptop more often! Hmm, I'm looking at the update info, not much of a service pack, more like a few updates and some entertainment support things.

pbarnard
06-26-2009, 03:26 PM
The whole upgrade the operating systems is really what motivated me to try to "fix" my lap top first. Didn't want to have to live with the bugs of either.

JediTricks
06-26-2009, 04:55 PM
For me, I was thrilled to be able to buy a sub-$300 laptop with XP on it. XP is easily superior to Vista for the notebook class of computer (I bought a netbook, which is even wimpier in that regard). XP is all I need for a notebook, although I do like the wifi and power interfaces on Vista, there are so many more drawbacks which just eat battery. Vista's hanging was a minor humiliation for me at SDCC last year when it wouldn't complete the transaction with Hasbro's PR person's flash drive - rendering it unremovable from the laptop (removing a flash drive while in action can corrupt its file system) and making it impossible for her to continue doing her job of giving the files to the next outlet requesting the file.

I hear Win 7 addresses battery issues and other stuff of that nature, but is still more of a resource hog than XP.

I dropped in a bigger harddrive and doubled the ram in my Vista laptop, it performs smoother now but still hangs and eats battery for breakfast. I rarely use it, preferring my XP netbook instead.

Ji'dai
06-27-2009, 10:34 AM
I've never used XP and have only used Vista for a few months so I haven't logged enough time with either OS to have formed a negative opinion about Vista yet. Most of my experience is with Win 9x and NT.

With the exception of a couple of hangs during shutdown I haven't really had problems with Vista. I'm used to Windows doing that though so it's not like it's a new thing.

I've never really run the laptop on battery for an extended time yet. I've been able to run on AC power wherever I go.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-27-2009, 10:44 AM
I use XP at work and it seems to be fine, but there isn't a lot of extra stuff on there, just the programs we need. Access (97) crashes a lot though. Sometimes I can avoid it because I know that it will always crash in certain circumstances, but I've not been able to predict the others.

DarthQuack
06-27-2009, 11:05 AM
I'm thinking about getting a Dell Studio laptop in the near future. I noticed they're having decent deals esp with no interest for 9 months or a year even. I'd love to get one with a Blu-ray player in it too :)

Ji'dai
06-27-2009, 05:21 PM
I'm thinking about getting a Dell Studio laptop in the near future. I noticed they're having decent deals esp with no interest for 9 months or a year even. I'd love to get one with a Blu-ray player in it too :) My HP laptop has a Blu-ray DVD drive and an HDMI output. I've never been able to get HP's MediaSmart software to play BDs though. The software crashes every time. It does fine with standard DVDs though.

Also my 17" screen isn't quite large enough for true HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). The best I can do is 1440 x 900. You may not be able to get a laptop with a big enough screen to display 1920 x 1080 pixels. Now a desktop PC with a larger monitor should be able to display HD.

My laptop Blu-ray player also won't read CD/DVD-R/RWs that were recorded in high speed too.

It's all moot though now that I have a PS3. That thing can play BDs and does a great job upscaling standard def. DVDs to HD. Plus I'm finding the whole video game aspect can be addictive as well. Hopefully I can get high-speed internet in my area soon so I can test out the wireless capabilities of the system too.

DarthQuack
06-27-2009, 06:32 PM
Thanks for the advice, I hadn't even thought about the screen size and resolution and don't really have that big of a BR collection yet, so just a regular drive would suffice :)

Ji'dai
06-28-2009, 12:15 AM
Getting a Blu-ray drive was one of the selling points for me when I bought my laptop, but I didn't really look at the native resolution the display is capable of. My laptop's display is HD technically, but the highest resolution is only 1440 x 900, which is a 16:10 aspect ratio instead of 16:9, so it will display 720p but not 1080p.

So if I were to play Blu-ray discs on my laptop I'm not really getting the maximum resolution the Blu-ray format is capable of. However, if I connect my laptop to my HDTV with an HDMI cable and watch the movie on the television, I can get full 1080p from the laptop's Blu-ray drive because my HDTV has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080.

When you start shopping for a computer with a Blu-ray drive just remember to check what the highest native resolution the monitor is capable of. If it's less than 1920 x 1080, you're not going to get a true HD picture from the Blu-ray player unless you're going to connect the laptop via HDMI to another monitor or HDTV with a 1920 x 1080 resolution.

JediTricks
06-28-2009, 02:55 PM
I bought my laptop in '07 so there was no thought to a blu-ray drive, but I did want one that did DVD. In the 2 years I've now owned it, I've watched exactly zero DVDs on it. :p

Ji'dai
06-30-2009, 12:38 PM
I only have 2 Blu-ray movies so it's not like I use the player all that much. I do carry along a disc or two of Futurama or the Simpsons and was watching episodes of those shows at lunch.

Then I bought a USB TV tuner and started recording new Family Guy and the Simpsons to watch instead.